For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 4


The Second Means of avoiding Purgatory is to satisfy for our sins in this
life by doing penance. “Do penance or you shall all likewise perish”.   Do
penance, or you will burn long years in Purgatory, is a fact that there is
no getting away from.

This is a terrifying thought and one that makes the bravest man shudder.
Which of us does not tremble when he thinks of those who have been burnt to
death in a slow fire?    What fear would not be ours if we had to face a
similar death?    Yet their suffering was of relatively short duration.   The
incomparably fiercer fire of Purgatory, which we may have to face, may last
20, or 50 or 100 years!

Many people have such a horror of penance that they never even dream of
practicing it.    It is like the fear that children have of ghosts, a very
great but a very unfounded fear.    Their idea is that penance is something
awful.    They think perhaps of the severe penances of the great Saints and of
course are afraid to attempt anything of a like kind.

The Second Means: Penance

God does not ask us, as a rule, to do what is heroic.    When He does, He
gives us all the strength necessary, as in the case of the Saints.    He asks
each one to do a little.    If we are afraid of doing much and it is only
natural that some should be, let us do at least a little.    No one but a
coward is afraid to do a little, especially if he gets much in exchange.

The easy road to Heaven of Saint Therese, the Little Flower, is to do many
little things.    God was infinitely pleased with the widow’s mite; He will be
equally pleased with our little penances.

As a result of little mortifications, we can deliver ourselves from the
awful fires of Purgatory and amass rich merits for Heaven.    To go into the
matter further, there is not much difficulty about mortification or
penance, notwithstanding the absurd fear that people have of it.

Penance is not only easy, it is useful and necessary and it will bring us
very great happiness.   Not to do penance is the greatest penance of all.    As
a matter of fact, every man of the world naturally, spontaneously mortifies
himself. The first principle, for instance, of politeness and good breeding
is to sacrifice our whims and tastes for the sake of others.    The selfish
man is a boor; the generous man is the idol of all.

Again, the only way of securing good health is to eschew the most
appetising viands when they do us harm and to make use of plain foods when
they do us good.    Overeating is the cause of the vast majority of sickness
and premature deaths.

To take another example. The secret of success is strenuous, methodical,
regular work.   Now generosity, self-denial, method, regularity are other
forms of very genuine but practical mortification.   Yet no man can get on
without them.   To insist on our own likes and dislikes, to do only as we
please, is to lead a life bristling with difficulties, in which every duty
is a burden, every good act an effort and a labor

Boy scouts and girl scouts are bound to do a kind act every day, even
though it costs them a big effort.   Christians should surely do more.   Daily
acts of self-restraint, of patience with others, of kindness to others, the
exact fulfilment of duty are splendid penances and a great aid to


If we are afraid to do much, let us do many little things.




Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s